Whereas most of the aforementioned brands have incorporated a limited edition product run into their lineup, the Supreme Clothing company has made it their standard M.O.
Supreme began in 1994 as a streetwear/skateboarding/clothing shop in New York, NY. Their status as a trendsetter has been solidified over the years with fashion inspired by the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s. Located in one of the fashion capitals of the world and firmly rooted in skateboarding/street culture, the brand has ascended to new heights since it’s humble beginnings over the past 20 years.
How have they done it?
No different than other brands, Supreme releases a new line of seasonal clothing and merchandise each year. However, each seasonal run features limited quality clothing. For instance, if the brand only produces 300 pairs of a particular item, once said item has sold out they will no longer sell the item.
Couple that with the brand having limited store locations — Two in the U.S. (New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA); one European location (London, U.K.); six Japanese locations (three in Tokyo, one in Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka). When a Supreme store location runs out of goods, they generally close their doors until the next season.
The exclusivity of their everyday street culture, the niche brand has in turn spawned its own subculture of reselling, although highly frowned upon by Supreme and its consumers.
The act of reselling occurs when consumers with access to Supreme merchandise (by geographic location) purchase merchandise and often resell the items from anywhere between 200% and 600% markup.
While their clothing items are moderately priced (T-shirts typically selling for $30) and highly unattainable, reselling puts Supreme consumers into a bind. Either travel great distances and wait in line for a chance to buy in-store or turn to the resellers market.